NEW DELHI: Former NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar will be the first bureaucrat to be prosecuted in the INX Media case with the Centre Friday giving the green signal to the CBI to do so.
Four other officers were also in the agency’s request for prosecution sanction earlier this year — former secretary in the MSME ministry Anup K Pujari, principal secretary in the Himachal Pradesh government Prabodh Saxena, former undersecretary Rabindra Prasad, and former section officer Kumar Dung.
Khullar was the additional secretary in the finance ministry when the alleged irregularities related to INX Media occurred in 2007-08. P Chidambaram, who has been arrested in connection with the case, was the finance minister then.
The CBI had in August confronted the former NITI Aayog chief with Chidambaram while the latter was in its custody. Sources said this was done to compare both the versions about the FIPB approval granted to INX Media while the duo was in office.
The CBI had decided to charge Khullar earlier this year and was awaiting the government’s permission.
Public servants can be prosecuted only after the government’s approval.
However, the agency has come under sharp criticism from the Chidambaram camp for not acting against six other IAS officers who were part of the team that recommended FIPB clearance to the government.
Notably, the sanction to prosecute Khullar comes a few days after interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the former finance minister in Tihar jail. P11